Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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First Druk Gyalpo and his men in colour

Tenzin Rabgye, Thimphu

Jan 1 2014

FirstKing-ColourPhoto.It took him three years of intricate effort to come out with the coloured version of the First Druk Gyalpo’s photograph. Deo Narayan, an entrepreneur, dedicated three hours every day, on the project for the last three years, to transform the black and white photograph of the First Druk Gyalpo ,Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck, into a coloured version.

Towards the final stage of the project, the entrepreneur said, he had to work the entire day, sometimes late into the night, to come up with the final product.

The photograph of the First Druk Gyalpo, with a few members of his court and personal guard, was taken by John Claude White, outside Trongsa Dzong, in 1905.

Deo Narayan had initially begun working on the photograph as a project of his own. He said he came out with an early version of the picture based entirely on his imagination. Even though it looked beautiful, he said, his initial project was historically flawed.

He, then, began correcting his work. Deo Kumar took help from historians like Dasho Bato Kap, Dasho Shingkhar Lam and Dasho Karma Ura. He said he also referred to volumes of books from Centre for Bhutan Studies, and The Raven Crown, among others. His endeavour was to find out the exact colour of the clothing, the First Druk Gyalpo and other people in the photograph, were wearing.

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“The reason I did so much research and photo shopped the picture is because 500 or 600 years in the future, children might wonder what type of clothes people wore during Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck’s time.” He said during those time they could take a look at the picture and get a good idea of what it was like then, without having to do much research.

It is the second known photograph Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck wearing western socks and shoes. The gho, that he adorns, is still at the museum at the Taa Dzong in Trongsa.

According to the historians the photograph was taken right after Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck was presented with the insignia of the Knight Commander of the Indian Empire in 1905. They had travelled from Punakha where the ceremony was held.

John Claude White had taken two pictures at the time, it is not clear which one was the first. The first picture of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck wearing western socks and shoes dates back to 1904 after a trip to Lhasa with the British.

Deo Narayan is currently working on his second project in which he plans to add colour to another picture, taken by John Claude White at Punakha in 1905 during the celebrations of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck receiving the insignia of Knight Commander of the Indian Empire.

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17 comments on “First Druk Gyalpo and his men in colour

  1. Gongsar on said:

    You have distorted the image buddy.How can you be so sure of the colours just by referring some history books that also written recently.And nowhere it is written in the books the type of colour of dress worn by Gongsar UW.

    You are distorting the history and you are distorting the image and its originality.
    The beauty lies in the imagination of history looking at those original pictures.

    Please stop this madness

    • If you still don’t believe the color of the gho of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk.. please visit Trongsa. Ta Dzong meseum..it may help you..
      Its not madness..its hard work. Bhutanese too have talent but it is blinded by jealousy..
      Deo Narayan nice job…

  2. bhutjolokia on said:

    great job

  3. stobgyll on said:

    I dont like it, history should remain as history only, no more manipulation,this picture is so rare and must preserved it, otherwise there is chances of loosing the original picture in long run, we must pay our deep respects to them.OLD IS GOLD..

    • With your comment it seems like our history/past was always in black and white. Guys grow up. ..that is the attitude of Bhutanese. When Bhutanese do something great they don’t appreciate. If somebody from abroad do that, then this foolish Bhutanese ll think its great job.. its modernized world anything can happened and see the change. Deo Narayan… you are doing great job.

  4. Please stop this, let the rich history remain as it is. have you ever observe the GHO wear by Fourth Guard standing from right to left side of the picture….watch nicely to the color of the GHO, if i m not mistaken its up side down….please watch it carefully.

    • Deo Narayan on said:

      Please watch the original black and white photograph carefully and make comments…………..

      I have received such comments verbally since the starting of the project and I have done it throughly…………….with lots of efforts from Dasho Karma Ura, and Dasho Tshering Dorji…….

      • Gongsar on said:

        Is Karma Ura and Tshering Dorji authority of History in Bhutan?If they are ok fine,but how can these two guys be 100& sure about the colours and patterns?

        Most of the time Dasho Ura talks like he existed there during 16th centuries but I know most of those are more of his assumptions and bluffs.DOBOT DISTORT the HISTORY

  5. rightwaytothink!!! on said:

    yeah actually every body likes the original image rather than making it different though it is awesome job you had attempt.

  6. Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck on said:

    Good effort but looks like you’ve just manipulated the colors and doing so has distorted even the patterns of the ghos. Look at the man to the right of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck.

  7. Good try, but this picture is in color, try surfing the internet. You will see the original photo in color.

  8. http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrTcXNYZdJSGvoADwOJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTI0c2JhcXE4BHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZANiMmZmZmZhMGUzZWI2YzU4ZWVhODIyYzU4ODIzMWEzNwRncG9zAzM1MQRpdANiaW5n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dfirst%2Bking%2Bof%2Bbhutan%26fr%3Dipad%26fr2%3Dpiv-web%26spos%3D60%26nost%3D1%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D351&w=612&h=612&imgurl=fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net%2Fhphotos-ak-ash3%2F946704_10151640758539513_1202271408_n.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Froyaldish.com%2Findex.php%3Ftopic%3D9589.390&size=88.6KB&name=RoyalDish+-+%3Cb%3EBhutan+%3C%2Fb%3ERoyal+news+-+page+27&p=first+king+of+bhutan&oid=b2ffffa0e3eb6c58eea822c588231a37&fr2=piv-web&fr=ipad&tt=RoyalDish+-+%3Cb%3EBhutan+%3C%2Fb%3ERoyal+news+-+page+27&b=301&ni=432&no=351&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=11dno8r9v&sigb=13pi2ut7n&sigi=12ogqjgp7&.crumb=92ZuHZg7hvz&fr=ipad
    Here is the link

  9. Moderator, sorry for the mess, this is the link I got. So just pasted it n looks weird isn’t it.

  10. sangay tenzin on said:

    please attach me some of the popularity of our first kings image in my mail for information la.

  11. sangay tenzin on said:

    great work,dats the talent of bhutan in front of other country and its popularity should hold it tight.

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